Milestone for Northumberland Estates as it welcomes Starbucks as first tenant on its new retail park in Alnwick
Northumberland Estates has welcomed the milestone moment of the first tenant opening for business on its new retail park in Alnwick.
Starbucks opened its new store on the Willowburn Retail Park on Thursday, November 7, with ribbon-cutting duties performed by the Duchess of Northumberland, Mayor Lynda Wearn and pupils from Shilbottle Primary School.
Anthony Cape, asset manager at Northumberland Estates, said: “The opening of Starbucks, the first retailer to start trading from the new Willowburn Retail Park, is a milestone for us in delivering this exciting new development.
“The coffee chain is set to deliver 20 new jobs for the town, with more to come following the opening of the new Turnbull’s Food Hall and Marks & Spencer Food Hall.
“Negotiations continue on the second phase and we hope to announce additional retailers soon.
“The development appears to have cultivated a positive buzz in the town and we are confident it will become a huge asset for Alnwick by improving the retail offer, as well as the economic benefits of creating employment and increasing footfall in the local area.”
The Starbucks store is operated by licensee 23.5 Degrees and, on opening day, free reusable cups were given to the first 50 customers along with treat a friend vouchers.
The Northumbrian Food Hall is aiming to open in the first week of December. Marks & Spencer has not yet revealed when its new food hall will open.
Northumberland Estates, the business representing the interests of the Duke of Northumberland, has previously revealed it is in negotiations with several other potential retail tenants including a well-known outdoor clothing brand and a popular footwear retailer, as well as other household names.
Planning permission for the retail park, on the southern outskirts of the town, was granted in June 2018.
It will have a total of 37,405 sq.ft. of retail floorspace, plus onsite parking for some 200 vehicles, once full phase development is complete. Units up to 20,000 sq ft remain available to let.
However, the retail park has not been without its critics, with Alnwick Chamber of Trade, Alnwick Civic Society and Local Living joining forces last year to oppose the plans.